Thursday, February 2, 2017

Marinus (NASDAQ: MRNS) Names Michael R. Dougherty to Board, Prepares to Initiate Phase 2 Studies of Ganaxolone

Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNS), on February 1, 2017, named Michael R. Dougherty to its board. A biopharmaceutical company, Marinus is preparing to initiate phase 2 studies of ganaxolone, a drug which treats seizures and anxiety in patients suffering from epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dougherty has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently, he served as executive chairman of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier, he served as CEO and a board member of Kalidex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dougherty also served in various capacities during his 10-year tenure with Adolor Corporation, including as president and CEO, a board member, COO, CFO and senior VP of commercial. Earlier still, he was at Genomics Collaborative, Inc., where he held the positions of president and COO. Dougherty is currently serving on the boards of Trevena, Inc.; Foundation Medicine, Inc.; Aviragen Therapeutics; and Cempra, Inc.

“This is an exciting time to join the Marinus board,” Dougherty stated in a news release. “Marinus is positioned to execute on several clinical studies with near-term milestones. I look forward to working with the Marinus board and management as we advance the development of the ganaxolone franchise.”

Ganaxolone is a drug candidate that acts on a well-characterized target in the brain and is known to have both anti-seizure and anti-anxiety effects. It is currently being evaluated in IV, capsule and liquid forms, and it’s designed for use in both hospital and home settings. Marinus is studying ganaxolone as a treatment option for both adult and pediatric patients.

Marinus is now preparing to begin a phase 2 clinical study of ganaxolone for the treatment of postpartum depression and status epilepticus (SE). A phase 2 clinical study of patients with SE will begin in 2017, the company said. Every dose regimen of ganaxolone IV to-date has been deemed generally safe and well-tolerated, reaching targeted dose levels in a short period of time. Any adverse events reported were mild and resolved without intervention, according to Marinus. Ganaxolone IV has been issued orphan drug designation from the U.S. FDA for the treatment of SE.

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